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Thursday, April 3, 2008

What have we eaten since we left Nola?

Well, I took a few notes, although I should have taken more. I'll try to recap as much as I can, I don't want you faithful readers to miss out on one of our gastronomic experiences!

The Friday night after we got back, we had nachos. Nothing fancy. Ground beef with the spices and ground chili powders we had on hand, salsa - La Salsa Chileana brand, of course, tortilla chips and that mexican four cheese blend.

So the next day we had the leftover ground beef from that and a bit of cheese. So I thought I would make some kind of chilaquiles, it just sounded good. Okay, it's not really chilaquiles. It's not green and not with chicken. I don't know if that is the defining ingredients, I have seen chilaquiles with that stuff in it. But everyone else names something what it really isn't, so why can't I? Like confit. Everything confit - duck, tomato, salmon, red onion. Anyway, I'm going to name it Mexican lasagna anyway, because that's way more of a better description of what it looks and tastes like. Here's the recipe I wrote down:

Mexican style beef lasagna

1.5 # ground beef seasoned with new mexico chili powder, garlic, onion, coriander, arbol chili powder

1/2 onion diced

4 cloves garlic crushed

5 dried new mexico peppers rehydrating in a little hot water

1 32oz can crushed tomatoes

1/2 T coriander

1/2 T arbol chili powder

salt and pepper

2 oz pickled jalapenos

3 oz salsa

4 oz mexican 4 cheese blend shredded

fresh corn tortillas - about 12 - 16

So basically, it's mexican lasagna. You make the sauce. Saute the onion and garlic. Add the chili powder. Let it toast. Then add the canned tomatoes and the new mexico chilis, salt and pepper. Let it simmer for 10 minutes, then blend it. Mix some of the sauce with the beef. In some kind of hotel pan or casserole or baking dish or ovenproof receptacle, layer some tortillas so that they overlap and cover the bottom. Pour a little sauce evenly over them. Then lay the meat down evenly on top of that. Of course, if you want it to look like your 6 year old niece made it, spread it out all lumpy. Then pour some more sauce on the meat. Sprinkle the pickled jalapenos on top. Then put down more tortillas and the rest of the sauce. Put the salsa on top. Press it all down with a spatula. Then put the cheese on top. Cover with foil. Bake at 275 for about 40 minutes, then take the foil off and turn the oven up to about 375 for maybe 5 minutes to get the cheese toasty. Now, if you bake this and it doesn't seem to be cooked or it's overcooked, don't blame me. You've gotta know a little about the principles of casserole cookery. If the sauce is still really loose and it's not hot, let it go longer. If it's drying up before 40 minutes, then take it out. I can't come to your house and watch it for you. Actually I can, for a gigantic fee, including airfare and hotel accomodations for two. Unless you live in a mansion and have a private guest wing. Anyway, when it's done, let it set a bit, then cut it, and eat the shit out of it.

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